Post-election protests in Liberia?

Nov. 9, 2011 at 1:32 PM
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MONROVIA, Liberia, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- More protests were planned in Liberia as counting gets under way for votes in the country's runoff election, a vice presidential candidate said.

Voters took to the polls Tuesday to choose between incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her main challenger, former diplomat Winston Tubman. Sirleaf won the most votes in last month's election but fell short of the majority needed to declare an outright win.

George Weah, Tubman's running mate on the Congress for Democratic Change, said organizers were planning peaceful demonstrations in the wake of the runoff. He told Voice of America Liberian authorities were called on to preserve the peace should demonstrations turn violent, however.

The report didn't specify when the protests were planned.

Turnout for Tuesday's vote was significantly low following calls for a boycott by Tubman's party. His backers claim the vote was rigged in favor of Sirleaf, who took 43.9 percent of the vote compared with Tubman's 32.7 percent.

Sirleaf was the co-recipient of this year's Nobel Peace prize, though Liberian analysts said that gave her little political capital at home.

Her past ties with wanted war criminal and former Liberian President Charles Taylor, as well as support from Sen. Prince Johnson, a former rebel leader, could overshadow her political reputation.

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